Live friday practice coverage from Loudon by Kellyanne Lynch
14 September 2007
Michael Waltrip Racing's three teams participated in practice today at New Hampshire International Speedway, in preparation for Sunday's Sylvania 300. Rookie David Reutimann turned the fastest time of the trio. His #00 Burger King Camry was best on its last lap of seventeen with a 29.689-second lap at 128.290 MPH. He was 0.257 seconds behind session leader Jimmie Johnson. Team owner Michael Waltrip ranked 39th, having completed his best lap eighteenth of nineteen. His #55 Napa Auto Parts Toyota turned a 30.130-second lap at 126.412 MPH that was 0.698 seconds behind Johnson. Meanwhile, Dale Jarrett trailed Johnson by 0.710 seconds and ranked 40th. His #44 UPS machine made eighteen circuits in practice and was also best on its second to last with a 30.142-second lap at 126.362 MPH.
"How 'bout you, Shawn?" #00 crew chief Frankie Kerr came on the radio at 11:55am ET, addressing spotter Shawn Reutimann.
"Spotter radio check," #44 crew chief Jason Burdett said just after that.
"How 'bout you, bud?" was Frankie's response. He said David would make mock qualifying runs during this session.
Meanwhile, the #44 team talked about going out in about another five minutes, and they did.
"Headed for you, Jas," said the #44 crew chief at 12:02pm.
"10-4," spotter Jason Jarrett replied.
Dale told his team that he would run a full lap.
"10-4," Burdett replied.
The #00 and #55 teams were also just about ready to start practicing.
"All right, Dave, qualifying, stickers," Frankie addressed his driver. "Be fast, bud."
Both David and Mikey took to the trak at 12:05. #55 spotter Mark Green gave Mikey options for when he could go out.
"Just tell me when to go," Mikey requested.
Dale continued as his teammates were gong out. He reported that he was tight going up the track and that the car didn't rotate well.
Meanwhile, Bobby Kennedy was reading off Mikey's lap times. "30.50, 30.50.
After that lap, the #55 headed for pit road. Mikey reported that the car felt "pretty good" and that he probably just needed to run again. He said he was a little loose off the corners, but the front end felt heavy. "I could feel the front tires working," he said. "Something when I got here didn't feel right."
David also returned to the garage at 12:09pm, reporting that his car was free in the centre. Frankie talked about the changes he would make.
As Dale returned to his garage a minute later, Mikey was telling his crew to check the splitter and the bumped. He wanted the tires to cool off before the next run.
"Shocks are good," someone on the #00 team said, just before the #44 drove out of the garage.
"Heading your way, Jason," Burdett informed the spotter.
Dale was on track at 12:13 and was told to make three or four laps. Dale said the car was fine on entry but needed work on the side bite. He said he had to drive it up into the fence the way it is now, because he has no room.
The #00 team continued working on their car as the #44 turned laps. Frankie told the crew to drop the track bar a quarter inch and to fuel the car.
"30.89," Burdett gave Dale his times. "30.83.
Dale came in at 12:16pm. "I get rolled over, push push, and that gets the back end loose," he reported. He was told to get travels.
A minute after the #44 returned to the garage, the #00 took to the track.
"I screwed this lap up," David commented after he turned one circuit. "What I did was rolled from the centre and flat footed it off 2." He also said the car got loose.
Even with the screw-up, Frankie noted, David was 2nd quickest in the session at the time.
David reported that the car was a little tighter in the centre but said that isn't a bad thing. He said he needed to be a little tighter in the centre without making the car tight overall. The team talked about putting stickers on the car if the present tires weren't cooled down before the next run.
"All right, kids, we're going to change the left front shock," Frankie addressed his crew. He said they would "clean it up" and work on the bumper too.
The #00 was in at 12:19, and the #55 was out a minute later.
"30.30," Bobby read off lap times. "30.27."
"That didn't help nothing. It's pushing, and it's loose," Mikey reported. He said it was tigbht going into the turn, and when it gets in the centre, "it's free as crap." He asked the crew to take out wedge so he could feel the difference.
Bobby called for wedge and shock adjustments. He told Mikey to get a tire sheet first before coming in at 12:22pm.
"The front end doesn't tunr good enough, and the back end doesn't turn good enough, basically," Mikey added.
"10-4," was Bobby's response.
Mikey also said he couldn't feel the splitter anywhere. He said it definitely wasn't left front down and told his crew to work on that splitter and to figure out a better way to get him in.
David took to the track at 12:28pm, and Mikey joined him a minute later.
"29.83 and 82 on two, three lap scuffs," Frankie said to David.
"That made it better on exit," David commented. He said it was tighter on the exit, and although that could be the tires, there wasn't enough drive on exit.
Frankie said they would change the right rear spring and would put on stickers.
Meanwhile, the car owner wasn't happy with the feel of his #55.
"That was as bad as it's been all year," Mikey complained. He said it pushed badly on exit. The car had spun out coming off Turn 2, but Mikey hadn't hit anything. He told the crew not to tell him it's because of the way he's driving it, because he's driving it the way he's supposed to.
The #00 and #55 returned to the garage. Dale was back on track moments later.
"30.70," Burdett read off his lap time. Dale came in a little later and reported he was loose.
Back in the #00 garage, David was singing the praises of the track's cuisine. "I ate a hot dog," he said. "Man, they're good! I could go for four or five more!"
Somebody on his crew talked about a retarded spring as they worked on adjustments.
At 12:43, the #55 was ready to return to the track.
"Pull back, big daddy," Bobby directed the driver.
As Dale told his crew that he was concerned the adjustments they were making could hurt his forward bite, Mikey took to the track.
"30.60," Bobby read off times. "30.45."
"It won't turn, and it spins out coming off the corner," Mikey informed his team.
Bobby told him to hop out, and they would change the left front springs.
Mikey said the car was way too loose but still pushed, and that the adjustments hadn't helped. On the run before, he pointed out how he'd been way too tight but still loose. "I don't know what to tell you."
The #55 was in at 12:47, and the #00 was out at 12:51. David turned a 29.98 and 29.75, which took him from 4th to 3rd on the present leader board. Frankie noted the car was smoking coming to the green.
David told his crew chief he had been too agressive on the brake. He was loose on the first lap but "really good" on the second. He went to the garage at 12:54pm.
"Up on the left front corner - is it a bad thing?" Frankie asked.
David said he didn't know. He assessed the change as positive but didn't know if they needed more power.
Frankie called for a pound in the right front and for stikers.
Meanwhile, Dale was returning from a run. He said he was fighting just a little bit in the centre. "When I get back in the gas, it seems okay," he commented. He said he needed grip early, because he just about wrecked.
"Right at thirty minutes to go," Mark informed the #55 team. Shawn said the same to the #00 team just after that.
At 1:00pm, the #00 was back on track.
"Man, the second lap, it got frickin' loose on me again," David told his team. "Frickin' big wiggle on exit over here, right up against the fence." He said the car was definitely freer.
The #00 was back in at 1:03pm.
"How'd I run that time?" David asked.
"77," Frankie replied.
David said he had a huge wiggle on exit in Turn 2. He said the car snapped late and he could get away with it longer when he first got into the turn.
Someone suggested right front spring and said the car looked good.
David said he needed to be tighter in the centre and needed help on exit.
Frankie told him he'd put the track bar down a quarter on the left and the front.
NASCAR brought out the red flag at 1:06pm for debris. During that minute, before the track went green, the #00 team talked about Sam Hornish Jr and Dave Blaney scuffing tires.
When green returned at 1:07pm, the #44 took to the track and ran a 30.44. Twenty minutes remained in practice.
"They weren't bad," Dale told his team. He said he was better on the getting up to speed lap as he returned to the garage.
Mikey came out of the garage at 1:10pm. Mark told him the drivers lined up on pit road were waiting to make qualifying runs and asked if they wanted to get in line or pass them.
"Pass them," Bobby replied.
"I'm going to pass them," Mikey added. He ran a 30.30 on his first lap. "It got real loose off, tight in the centre," he reported. He said he thought it would be better, but the car got sideways and then pushed. He was back in the garage at 1:12pm.
"It just doesn't feel like there's a left front on it. It's really bad. I really need something different," Mikey reported. "I never feel it touch the splitter. It goes in the corner, and it just rolls back and forth qq doesn't settle down, doesn't do anything right. It's just flippin terrible."
He said he wanted four shocks instead of one. "I don't think one shock can fix what I'm feeling," he added.
Back in the #00 garage, Frankie told the crew they needed to hurry so they could get in two more runs.
"Super duper job on that left rear, Chris!" said a member of the crew. "It's, like, perfect!"
The #44 returned to the track at 1:19pm and ran a 30.14 second circuit. As he went to the garage, Dale complained that two cars had gotten in his way. Ward Burton's #44 had pulled out in front of Jimmie Johnson's #48, which slowed all three cars.
David was back on track at 1:22, and Mikey joined him a minute later.
"Seven minutes," Mark noted. "Seven."
David ran a 29.79 and a 29.68.
"Lot better on exit," David reported. He said they needed to tone down freeness in the centre of the turns, which he could fix by getting in high in the corners.
Frankie said they could fix that. He told to crew to put on scuffs and praised them for their efforts during practice.
When asked about temperatures, David said it was 210.
Someone on the #00 frequency sang, "Come on, guys, it's the ___?___ show!" really high pitched, and it sounded like it could have been David.
Meanwhile, Mikey ran a 30.13.
"Well, that would be a pretty good race set-up, but I don't know what it'll do in qualifying," Mikey commented. He said he was loose getting in, but the car didn't do anything weird. It didn't push off the turns.
Bobby said the first lap looked better than the third, but he saw him really working the wheel.
"I have to drive the crap out of it, but it's better," Mikey replied. He said the car felt "classic free" everywhere.
Bobby asked if it were porposing again.
"I guess," Mikey replied. He said he got into the turns deeper, which made him go a little faster. Once he matted it, it would stick. He said the car was just loose in the centre. "It's driving like crap. Any time it's driven like crap, I don't like the front end tow."
Bobby said that was good information.
Mikey said Bobby usually had to drag information out of him, but now he's thinking. He commented that it's sad they can't get any closer than this and pointed out how he almost won here.